Lichen planus is a chronic, non-infectious disease that causes inflammation in different parts of the body including the scalp, nails, mouth, genitals, legs, or arms. The cause for lichen planus is unknown, but it can be linked to viral infections like Hepatitis C or autoimmune skin disorders. There is no cure for lichen planus, so you can try to reduce the symptoms. For example, the itchy, reddish-purple rash can be cleared up on certain skin areas within a year, but permanent scars might remain. Other body parts might take longer to heal. The pain can range from uncomfortable to unbearable. While conventional treatment might include an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory prescription, there are other ways to manage lichen planus. Natural, at-home remedies can also help treat lichen planus and keep the chronic symptoms at bay.
This famous, age-old herb has a special ingredient called curcumin. That means turmeric is packed with helpful antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, which can help keep symptoms of lichen planus from reoccurring. Researchers also link curcumin to immune-boosting effects, which is ideal for this autoimmune disease. You can mix turmeric powder with water and apply it to affected areas of the skin’ after about 15 minutes rinse it off. There are also other ways to use turmeric for oral lichen planus by creating an ointment that is 1 part turmeric powder to 10 parts alcohol. It will help reduce inflammation and speed up the healing process.
A warm oatmeal bath is ideal for any skin irritation including itchiness from lichen planus. If you don’t want to make a mess in the tub, you can make an oatmeal paste and rub it on the affected area. The smooth ointment will settle your need to scratch, which only causes lichenoid lesions and scars. You can take advantage of this at-home remedy every day if you desire.
This miracle plant can do wonders for your health including treating the symptoms of lichen planus. Aloe vera is a known at-home remedy for burns, lesions, mouth ulcers, and inflammation. Not only can aloe vera help with skin illnesses, but it will help improve your skin texture in general including pigmented patches. There are multiple applications of aloe vera including ready-made gel or juice. However, you can also have your very own plant. Each time you need to soothe your skin, you can break open the cactus-like leaf and rub the inner, gooey plant onto the affected area.
If you are familiar with skin care, you have heard of the term astringent. Although associated with a feeling of harshness, it is a substance that helps close pores and draws tissue together. Ginger has astringent properties that can decrease the spread of lichen planus. This ancient herb can reduce inflammation, too. If an allergic reaction causes lichen planus, ginger is considered an at-home antihistamine, which is used to treat allergies. Use ginger both topically and orally to ease symptoms of lichen planus.
Tea Tree Oil
Like the other items on this list, tea tree oil is a great source of natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides lichen planus, tea tree oil can also soothe symptoms of psoriasis, acne, eczema, and other skin ailments. All you have to do is dilute the oil with water and apply it to the irritated area. Repeat this several times a day to relieve itchiness and other symptoms of lichen planus. Tea tree oil can also be prepared with mouthwash to rinse your mouth that is affected by mucosal inflammation. Make sure you dilute the mouthwash, gurgle it, and spit the mixture back out. This process might help treat symptoms associated with oral lichen planus.
Anytime you have inflammation or an itching sensation; a cold compression can soothe the pain almost immediately. Although it only provides temporary relief, putting an ice pack on the affected area is worth it. Wrap the cold compress in a towel of some sort, if necessary. Then, place it on the sore lesions for up to 10 minutes. You can say goodbye to the burning, itchy feeling for a little while. Applying a skin moisturizer like petroleum jelly afterward can keep the discomfort at bay for even longer.
This one is a bit of a concoction, but egg whites can help with itchiness and inflammation. All you have to do is whip an egg white and add cocoa butter along with apple cider vinegar. Apply this mixture on lichen planus lesions for instant relief from itching. Like other items on this list, it is not a permanent fix. However, it is a fast and easy at-home remedy that can help treat the symptoms of lichen planus.
Did you know that potatoes can work as a natural form of bleach? Spuds can actually be used to brighten up scars or lighten dark patches of skin, especially those associated with lichen planus. All you have to do is cut a potato into several slices and dip each one into cold water. Then, gently massage your skin spots with the potato slice. You can repeat this process on a daily basis, but it is recommended as part of your nighttime regime. While the potato slices won’t help much with inflammation or itchiness, they can improve the dark scars from lichen planus lesions.
Have you ever heard of oil pulling? It is an ancient process that involves swishing herbal oils in your mouth for prolonged periods of time before spitting it back out like mouthwash. This practice does have oral health benefits even though they are not strong enough on their own to replace traditional oral hygiene. Nevertheless, oil pulling with coconut oil might help improve the symptoms of oral lichen planus. Besides oil pulling, you can also use coconut oil topically. Apply the ointment onto itchy, dry skin to create a soothing effect.
A study revealed that oral lichen planus might be connected to a vitamin D deficiency. In many places in the world, people do not get enough sunlight. It is important to not only make the most of the daylight but consume foods that are rich in vitamin D to counter the imbalance during the off seasons. For example, tuna, salmon, and egg yolks are rich with vitamin D. Did you know the sunshine vitamin is also linked to immunity? If you can take advantage of the sunshine along with proper foods, you might be able to keep lichen planus symptoms from coming back.